One of the best things about summer is being able to enjoy your garden, and when the weather is great, you should take advantage of it while you can. Winter will soon be back before you know it, so why not make the most of your outdoor space and throw a garden party for all of your friends. Gatherings are tough at the moment because it is important to socially distance, which is why garden parties are so great. You can still have a good time with friends and family while also staying safe.
People often think that throwing a garden party is easy, it’s just a case of putting the BBQ on and getting a few chairs out. But if you want to throw a garden party that is really special, you need to put a bit more thought into it than that. Here are some great tips to help you throw an amazing garden party.
MAKE PEOPLE COMFORTABLE
While it’s nice to sit around and enjoy the sun for a while, it’s important that you make everybody comfortable. When you are setting up for the garden party, consider where the shaded areas in the garden are and put some seating there so that people can get a bit of a break from the sun. If you don’t get much shade in the garden, you should invest in a few garden umbrellas to create a bit of shade. You should also get a few cans of bug spray just in case there are a lot of bugs around. The last thing that you want is everybody being uncomfortable because they are being bitten and swarmed with flies.
USE AN OPEN SEATING PLAN
When you are arranging tables and chairs, you should consider an open seating plan. This is especially important if you need to maintain social distancing. Instead of one big central table, set up tables and chairs in small pockets around the garden. This gives people the option to sit in the shade or in the sun, and it makes the whole event feel less formal and more relaxed. If you have a lot of people that don’t know each other very well, an open seating plan will encourage more mingling. Having tables dotted around also allows people to set down their food and drinks if they want to. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to juggle your plates and drinks because there is nowhere to put them down. If you have a lot of grass in the garden, you could even put down a few picnic blankets so people can lounge around in the sun if they want to.
SERVE AN INTERESTING MENU
The menu at most garden parties is pretty dull. Your guests will arrive expecting a few burgers and hotdogs from the BBQ, which is fine, but why not do something a bit more interesting? The best way to come up with exciting ideas for your menu is to visit a local farmers market and see what is in season. If you speak with vendors and ask them how they prepare things, they will be happy to give you some tips. Your guests will be pleasantly surprised when they see that your menu has some more interesting items on it.
The BBQ is often underutilized, and people don’t realize that you can do more exciting things with it than merely making burgers and hot dogs. If you buy some good quality seasonal vegetables and grill them up on the BBQ, with some nice dips to go with them, that makes for a more interesting meal than a cheap burger from the store. Make sure that you don’t forget about dessert as well because people may get hungry later on if the party carries on into the night. These garden party brownies are the perfect treat for everybody to enjoy a bit later on after they have eaten their main meal.
You should also get creative with the drinks that you have on offer as well. Get a few staples in, but also consider creating some of your own signature summer cocktails. Simple cocktails with fresh muddled fruit are perfect in the hot weather, and it’s easy to make up a few big batches in jugs. You can welcome your guests with an ice-cold fruity cocktail and start the party off with a bang.
GET SOME PARTY GAMES
All good parties need some entertainment, and if you have kids attending, they will quickly get bored unless there are some party games to play. You can buy some great themed cornhole games, which are perfect for a garden party. The kids and adults will both love it, and it’s a simple, casual game that people can dip in and out of as they please. You could even make a simple DIY ring toss with a few old bottles and some plastic rings, which you can easily pick up online. You don’t need to make the games the focus of the party, and you shouldn’t plan anything that is too long or time-consuming. Many of your guests will just want to relax and enjoy the sun, but some people enjoy playing games, so always use short games that people can play as and when they like.
PREPARE FOR THE EVENING
If your party is a hit and everybody wants to carry on into the evening, you need to be prepared. Even in the summer, it can get a little cold, so you may want to consider investing in a fire pit or even some outdoor heaters to keep everybody warm. Lighting is important too, and there are some great simple solutions that won’t cost that much money. A few sets of cheap fairy lights draped around the fences or trees in the garden will provide enough light and create a great atmosphere. If people are going to stay late into the evening, you should also prepare a few snacks in case people get hungry later on.
HAVE A BACKUP PLAN IN PLACE
Hopefully, the weather will be glorious on the day of your garden party, but you always need to be prepared for rain. Even if you keep checking the weather right up until the day, it can always change. If it does rain, you need a backup plan so the party can still go ahead and everybody will still have a great time. Find a space inside the house that can accommodate everybody, if possible, and when choosing your menu, pick things that you can cook in the oven if you need to. It would help if you also planned some alternative games that can be played inside as well.
If there are only going to be a few showers and the rest of the day will be beautiful, make sure that you get plenty of umbrellas so people can stay dry until the rain passes and you can continue the party as planned. You also need a contingency plan if the weather is particularly hot because it will be very uncomfortable for your guests. Having shaded areas is essential, but you should also think about moving the time of the party and starting later on in the evening once it has cooled down a bit.
Hosting a great garden party takes more work than you realize. If you want all of your guests to be happy and have a memorable time at your party, you need to follow all of the tips on this list and always be prepared for the weather.